If you have an Allstate structured settlement and "you need cash now", you will still be able to deal with the company's AFEN unit after the company stops taking in new structured settlement annuity business, according to an Allstate official responding to my question .
AFEN stands for Advanced Funding Exchange Notice and is a emergency liquidity feature that has been automatically associated with Allstate structured settlement annuities issued since the feature was introduced.
In the summer of 2012, Allstate announced a reduction in its discount rate to 8%, making it super competitive with alternative sources of cash. What I have been saying all along is that, if you need cash, but you have exhausted other alternatives (e.g. good faith effort to work out debts with creditors, delaying purchase etc) and truly have no valid alternative, you should first go to Allstate's AFEN unit, obtain a quote and use Allstate to set a ceiling on discount rates and force other bidders down. Bear in mind that Allstate's AFEN still requires the same sort of approval required of any structured settlement factoring transaction. Either way, a court must determine if the sale or transfer of structured settlement payment rights is in your best interest and that of applicable dependents.
Do not rely on any structured settlement buyer that you see on TV, Internet or print to tell you this.
While one can hope this were not the case, unfortunately some companies that charge discount rates above 10% have no incentive to tell you the truth in a business where the sales practices of its participants are grossly under-regulated. As prevously reported I have received calls from folks with Allstate structured annuities, who have approached ( or have been approached by) a TV advertiser, TV advertiser said nothing about contacting the AFEN unit and then gave them a purchase quote that exceeded a 10% discount rate.
For information please see John Darer's June 29, 2012 video podcast on the Allstate Advanced Funding Exchange Notice.